I know this topic is somewhat personal and it’s not the most exciting topic to talk about. I’m sure you’re also probably thinking “Emma why the f are you wanting to write a blog post on dealing with travelers’ diarrhoea?!” But guys, the reality of it is you’re highly likely to get loose bowel movements whilst you’re traveling. Even more so if you’re traveling to countries with lower sanitary conditions to what you’re used to. In fact, digestive upsets (or otherwise known as Delhi Belly) are the most common travel-related illnesses, affecting about 30-50% of travelers to tropical destinations, so you may as well be prepared.
If you’re planning to travel to any of these places, it’s important to understand how to prevent and treat it.
What Is Travelers Diarrhoea?
Travelers’ diarrhoea is defined as passing 3 or more loose/watery bowel motions in under 24 hours. It may be accompanied by any of the following symptoms; fever, cramps, urgent need to pass a bowel movement, or vomiting.
On average, symptoms last for 3-5 days however in most cases, can be prevented with products like Travelan.
So I’m sure you’re wondering, how can you reduce your risk of getting travelers diarrhoea? Here are a few things to take note when traveling:
- Avoid unhygienic food practices. For example, make sure all street food is being cooked in-front of you and busy. Even choosing a vegetarian option does not minimise your risk because vegetables may be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria found in soil, fecal matter and water used to wash and prepare food.
- Avoid contaminated water. Don’t drink the tap water unless it is safe to do so. In some countries you may even need to clean your teeth with bottled water and keep your mouth closed whilst showering.
- As previously mentioned it may be safer to not eat meat during the duration of your trip if you’ve got a sensitive stomach.
- Avoid swimming in contaminated or dirty waters.
- Make sure your food doesn’t have any ingredients that you are allergic too. I’m allergic to coconut, and I found that out the hard way in Indonesia and Malaysia…
- If you’re wanting to eat fruit or vegetables, don’t eat it them unless they are cooked or you can peel them.
- Drink bottled water and avoid ice.
Dealing With Travelers Diarrhoea
I know first-hand just how horrible travelers diarrhoea is. Thus, I’m sure you’re wanting to get rid of this very inconvenient illness. Therefore I recommend using Travelan.
Travelan is scientifically formulated and clinically proven to reduce the risk of Travelers’ Diarrhoea by conferring up to 90% protection against Travelers’ Diarrhoea. It is clinically proven with solid scientific research findings behind it (Clinical Studies by the US Defense Force). Travelan is an over-the-counter (OTC) method for reducing the risk of preventing travelers’ diarrhoea that is also not an antibiotic. No prescription is required and it is a cheap travel insurance alternative, an ideal holiday investment!
How Does Travelan Work?
To protect against Travelers diarrhoea, Travelan should be taken before every meal (and snack) with bottled water. Each tablet contains Hyperimmune Bovine Colostrum Powder enriched with Enterotoxigenic E.coli (ETEC) antibodies. These antibodies E.coli bacteria in the gut and keep it from sticking to your gastrointestinal tract, neutralising the toxins these bacteria produce releases which would otherwise make us sick.
Travelan is a perfect product for those planning to visit a country where it is recommended to not drink the water, avoid ice cubes, only eat peeled fruit, and so on. Any country with lower health standards than your home country would be a good destination for the use of Travelan, however Traveler’s Diarrhea can happen at any time so practice caution and use Travelan.
One box of Travelan is good for 10 days of travel.
You can find further information about Travelan by heading to their website.
Other Steps To Take
- Make sure to rest, this gives your body the best chance to fight whatever is making you ill; in any case, being on the move with diarrhoea presents a few logistical problems.
- Drink plenty of fluids. You need to replace what’s being lost through diarrhoea, to do this you can make up your own solution by adding six teaspoons of sugar (or honey) and half a teaspoon of table salt to 1L of boiled bottled water.
- Try to avoid eating for one day. After a day, start eating BRAT foods (bananas, rice, apple sauce (unsweetened), plain toast).
- Take your temperature and note what it is; repeat this to see how the illness is progressing.
- Go to the bathroom as often as you need to do. Holding it in will only make the diarrhoea last longer.
- Examine what’s coming out of your guts to check for blood or mucus. If there is blood, get yourself to a clinic. If you can’t get to a clinic, start taking antibiotics immediately.
- Be aware of how often you’re passing urine and what colour it is, so you can check you’re not getting dehydrated. If it’s a dark colour drink more water!
- Remember that diarrhoea is contagious so be extra thorough when washing your hands after you have used the bathroom.
Don’t let traveler’s diarrhoea ruin your time away. Follow these tips and talk to your doctor before you go to make sure you have a safe and healthy trip, and dealing with travelers diarrhoea is the last thing you want when traveling!
Have you had to deal with traveler’s diarrhoea? Did you survive? Have a funny travel poop story? Feel free to leave comment below!
Don’t Leave Without Travel Insurance!
In the past I’ve jumped between many travel insurance companies, trying to figure out which is the best overall. Last year I went with World Nomads, and haven’t looked back since. I personally love how quick and easy it is to get a quote, and it’s one of the important things to know before visiting South Africa. You can even purchase a plan with little advanced notice. Extend coverage online from anywhere too, or if you decide to extend your month long trip into a six-month long one, it will be no problem with World Nomads.
Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 140 countries and is designed for adventurous travelers.
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Thanks for the post, Emma,
I’ve been reluctant to travel to third world countries since a bout of severe dysentery in India twenty years ago. When tummy trouble normally clears up, mine didn’t and I came close to death.
It took three years to regain my full strength mainly because I had ongoing stomach issues for years after, it was just horrendous. I was a very fit 30year old male at the time!
Thanks for posting this, because I would really like to go back to India and do all the things I planned on doing last time. With this product, I think it will give me the confidence to take my kids too! 🙂
The fact it is made in Australia and created by Australian scientists gives me assurance.
There are bugs in these countries that we are just not used to and they can really damage you. Best not to take the risk!
Fantastic! Thanks for writing this, very informative. You share good information related to travel tips.
I have benefited a lot from reading this article, I want more post about that.
Thanks again for this useful guide.